Robotics: Collaborative Robots (or CoBots) on the Rise

first_imgIndustrial robots have had a history of working in environments isolated from humans.  Often industrial robots were designed to do work that was dangerous or difficult for humans to do.  The current generation of robots though are increasingly being designed to work alongside humans to augment the work that they do.  This type of robot is being called a collaborative robot or a ‘cobot’.  We’ve discussed cobots previously.Lucas Apa, IOActive researcher, said that “this is not the case with the latest generation collaborative robots, or cobots. They function with co-workers in shared workspaces while respecting safety standards. This generation of robots works hand-in-hand with humans, assisting them, rather than just performing automated, isolated operations. Cobots can learn movements, ‘see’ through HD cameras, or ‘hear’ through microphones to contribute to business success.”Dan Kara, Research Director of Robotics at ABI Research, said that “although industrial robots have found much success supporting manufacturing operations, the usefulness of these same systems has been limited by their high costs, complex programming, inflexibility, and inability to work in close association with humans. As a result, the market for collaborative robots, human-scale systems that are easy to set up and program, are capable of being used by workers with a wide range of qualification levels, can support multiple types of automation, and can work safely in close proximity to human workers, is very active at this time.”last_img